Guardians of Order

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Guardians of Order
Former type Private (defunct)
Industry Role-playing game publisher
Fate Bankruptcy[citation needed]
Founded 1996
Defunct 2006 August
Headquarters Guelph, Ontario
Key people Mark C. MacKinnon, David L. Pulver, Jeff Mackintosh, Adam Jury, Jesse Scoble, Lucien Soulban
Products Big Eyes, Small Mouth, Silver Age Sentinels, Tri-Stat system
Website http://guardiansorder.com/ (defunct)

Guardians of Order was a Canadian company founded in 1996 by Mark C. MacKinnon in Guelph, Ontario. The company's business output consisted of role-playing games (RPGs). Their first game is the anime inspired Big Eyes, Small Mouth. In 2006 Guardians of Order ceased operations due to overwhelming debt.

The Big Eyes, Small Mouth game used the Tri-Stat System. The Tri-Stat System would later be modified for use in other games and be more generally named the Tri-Stat dX system. Most of Guardians of Order's game use some form of the Tri-Stat dX system.

After Big Eyes, Small Mouth, Guardians of Order would go on to achieve significant success with the Sailor Moon Role-playing Game and Resource Book. The game was built on Big Eyes, Small Mouth but featured an extensive reference to the Sailor Moon universe. Guardians of Order acquired licenses and published Big Eyes, Small Mouth-based RPGs for a number of other anime series including Dominion Tank Police, Demon City Shinjuku, and Tenchi Muyo. After El Hazard, the last such game, the company's strategy with licensed anime series changed and it began issuing "Ultimate Fan Guides" which served the same purpose while avoiding the need to reprint the same BESM-based mechanics. All of these books included game statistics for characters in the series as well as extensive episode guides and character summaries.

Guardians of Order expanded beyond anime based games when the Tri-Stat dX system was adopted for the superhero game Silver Age Sentinels.

Guardians of Order later acquired the rights to publish the Amber Diceless Roleplaying Game from Phage Press.[1][2] Guardians of Order licensed the rights to produce role-playing games set in existing fictional works. These include games based on The Authority, Tékumel, and A Song of Ice and Fire.

Between 14 February 2006 and 1 August 2006 there were no official updates to the Guardians of Order website. There was speculation on the official forums that the company was out of business. On 28 July 2006 a post to George R. R. Martin's official web site announced that Guardians of Order was out of business.[3] In response, on 1 August 2006 Mark MacKinnon posted confirmation that Guardians of Order "ceased operations."[4] According to MacKinnon the company had too much debt. MacKinnon is attempting to place Guardians of Orders games with other companies. He promised that existing orders would be filled.

On 9 September 2006 ArtHaus Games, whose titles are published by White Wolf Publishing, announced that it has acquired the Big Eyes, Small Mouth RPG. The announcement stated the company was "extremely confident" that a release date of January 2007 would be met and confirmed that those who pre-ordered and prepaid for the book would be "in good hands," though it was also said that they have not taken on Guardians of Order's liabilities.[5]

On 7 March 2007 George R. R. Martin wrote that he had regained control of his intellectual property rights and was "all square" with Guardians of Order.[6] As part of their settlement, Mr. Martin received all remaining stock of the limited edition version of the RPG. No further information regarding the settlement was revealed, nor the status of other creditors' claims on the property.

History[edit]

Guardians of Order was founded by Mark C. MacKinnon in 1996. In 1998 Guardians of Order hired David Pulver. In 1999, Jeff Mackintosh was hired. 2000 brought Liz Fulda and Lucien Soulban. In 2002, Guardians of Order launched their "Magnum Opus" program, licensing the company's intellectual property to third parties to create new games.

By 2005, Guardians of Order downsized to just Mark C. MacKinnon. In early 2006, the company ran out of capital, and closed their doors on August 1, 2006. The third edition of BESM is acquired by ArtHaus Games on September 9, 2006.

Products[edit]

Original properties[edit]

  • Big Eyes, Small Mouth - Guardians of Order's original game had four revisions before the company went out of business, with the third edition being in development and published by another company.
    • Core rules
      • Big Eyes, Small Mouth (1997) - 94 black and white pages.
      • Big Eyes, Small Mouth Second Edition (2000) - 280 full color pages
      • BESM d20 (2003) - Similar to the original BESM, this replaced the Tri-Stat rules with d20 System rules.
      • BESM d20 Revised Edition (2004)
    • Expansions
      • Big Robots, Cool Starships (1999) - Rules for science fiction anime-inspired games, especially those featuring mecha.
      • BESM Game Master's Screen (2000)
      • Cute & Fuzzy Cockfighting Seizure Monsters (2000) - Rules for pet monster battling style games, inspired by cartoons like Pokémon. Also published as Cute & Fuzzy Seizure Monsters due to censorship concerns.
      • Hot Rods & Gun Bunnies (2000) - Rules for modern day action adventure anime-inspired games.
      • Centauri Knights (2001) - Science fiction setting
      • Big Ears, Small Mouse (2001) System for playing small cartoon animals such as Rescuers, Capitol Critters, etc.
      • Mecha d20 (2003) - Also usable as an expansion for Dungeons & Dragons 3rd edition, d20 Modern and other d20 System games.
      • BESM Dungeon (2003) - Additions to BESM for running more fantasy oriented anime-inspired games.
      • Cold Hands, Dark Hearts (2003) - Rules for playing supernatural monsters in a gothic horror setting.
  • Silver Age Sentinels (2002) - Superhero role-playing game. Based on modified BESM rules using ten-sided dice instead of six-sided dice.
  • Tri-Stat dX (2003) - a small generic role-playing system based on BESM.
  • Ex Machina (2004) - Cyberpunk role-playing game using the Tri-Stat rules.
  • Dreaming Cities (2005) - Urban fantasy role-playing game
  • Reality Storm (in conjunction with Hero Games)

Licensed products[edit]

Guardians of Order licensed the rights to a variety of titles to convert them into role-playing games. The majority were based on Big Eyes, Small Mouth and licensed from anime series. The books also served as resource guides, summarizing the episodes in the series and the characters.

Standalone RPGs
Resource books requiring BESM
  • BESM Hellsing Ultimate Fan Guides: #1 (2002), #2 (2003). Not a self-contained RPG, relied on BESM. #1 covered episodes 1-6, while #2 covered 7-13.
  • BESM Hellsing d20 (2003): Reprinted fan guides as a single hardbound book.
  • BESM Trigun d20 (2004): Hardbound book covered all 26 episodes of the TV series.
  • The Slayers d20 Role-Playing Game (2004) - Based on the BESM d20 rules instead of the original BESM Tri-Stat rules. Only covered the first 26 episodes. The remaining episodes were covered in later resource books: BESM: The Slayers: Next (2004, Episodes 27-52), BESM: The Slayers: Try (2004, Episodes 53-78)
  • BESM: Revolutionary Girl Utena: The Rose Collection (2004) - Covers episodes 1 through 13.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Guardians Of Order's New Year's Message". Retrieved 2006-07-11. 
  2. ^ a b "Phage Press". Retrieved 2006-07-11. 
  3. ^ Martin, George R. R. (2006-07-28). "Guardians Of Order Out of Business". Retrieved 2006-07-29. 
  4. ^ MacKinnon, Marc (2006-08-01). "Guardians Of Order Announcement". Retrieved 2006-08-01. 
  5. ^ "ArtHaus Acquires Big Eyes, Small Mouth RPG" (Press release). Atlanta, GA: White Wolf Publishing. 2006-09-09. Retrieved 2006-09-09. 
  6. ^ Martin, George R. R. (2007-03-07). "ICE & FIRE role playing game". Retrieved 2007-05-01. 

External links[edit]